The Fountain is a perfect example of the Pisces archetype on film. It’s a visionary love story about the quest for immortality that interweaves three parallel storylines that span a thousand years. This is probably Darren Aronofsky’s best film. It’s a work of art with stunning visuals, a glorious soundtrack and beautiful performances by the two leads, Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz.
It doesn’t look like any other film either. This is because the special effects were created using the macro photography of Peter Parks. He brewed bacteria and chemicals to create reactions and then filmed the results. So the spectacular images of space were actually shot in a Petri dish!
In part 1 we looked at how Blade Runner deals with the thorny issues of memory and identity. The film is deliberately ambiguous in how it presents the characters, both human and replicant, and that provides plenty of fuel for speculation. In this post, we’ll explore the humanity of the replicants and attempt to answer the ultimate question: Is Deckard a replicant? I shouldn’t need to warn you, but **!!Expect SPOILERS!!**
Blade Runner is a great example of the Aquarius archetype on film. Based on the Philip K Dick novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the story explores the nature of humanity and the way memories create identity. It flopped when it was first released in 1982, largely due to the unnecessary (and truly awful) voiceover and bizarre happy ending. But after being remastered and reissued, it’s become a classic that continues to provoke arguments over its central question.
Pi is a perfect example of Sagittarius on film. It explores the nature of reality and God through the language of mathematics and spirals. The story follows Max as he searches for patterns in the numbers underpinning reality and slowly losing his mind. It raises interesting questions about the dangers associated with the pursuit of truth and the line between genius and madness.
After my two part analysis of the symbolism of Prometheus earlier, it’s about time I followed up on my promise to tackle the sequel, Alien: Covenant. This film is more like the original Alien from 1979, but continues to explore some of the ideas presented in Prometheus. However, the many questions left hanging at the end of the previous film aren’t answered in Covenant and many more are raised instead.
A perfect example of Libra on film can be found in Michael Clayton, a tense legal thriller that explores the nature of truth and justice and so much more. The film is even more relevant now than it was back in 2007 when it came out. The story follows Michael Clayton, a fixer who cleans up messes for a legal firm and their rich clients, as he seeks redemption in an ethical wasteland.
Stranger Than Fiction is a perfect example of the Virgo archetype on film. It’s a modern fable about the interconnectivity of life and the power of stories and literature. The story follows Harold Crick, a taxman who lives a very ordered life until his wristwatch decides to stir things up a bit. The film is quite surreal, but gentle and sweet-natured – just like Harold.
In the post on Leo Myths we looked at the quest for meaning in the story of the Holy Grail. The fulfilment of this quest is the healing of the Fisher King and that brings us to the 1991 film by Terry Gilliam. The Fisher King is a comedy-drama about Jack Lucas, a misanthropic DJ and his unlikely friendship with a homeless man called Parry.
A perfect example of the Cancer archetype on film is mother! – a mind-bending Gnostic creation myth stuffed with Biblical metaphors and Kabbalistic symbolism. It’s a home invasion story told from the perspective of Mother Earth and was inspired by the children’s book The Giving Tree. The film was marketed as a horror movie but only to prepare audiences for the onslaught of the harrowing final act. It plays as a fever dream or nightmare and isn’t easy to watch, but Darren Aronofsky, the director, says it’s a wake-up call to humanity. You’re supposed to feel uncomfortable watching mother!